If there’s one festival in the UK WAITT Unsigned are always stoked to roll up at it’s Nottingham’s Waterfront Festival. Every year the chaps at Audacious Face, I’m Not From London, The Maze, LeftLion, Castle Rock and The Canalhouse get together to raise money for incredible charities and put on a kickass show in the process. This year those charitable souls were helping out Nottingham Hospitals Charity and SCOPE Nottingham.
It’s this charitable spirit that makes Waterfront all about having a good time, making people happy and supporting some of the finest unsigned and independent artists around, and what better way to kick-off the feel-good vibes then with Frazier Lowrie on The Maze Stage. Lowrie’s upbeat acoustics are the perfect opener to the festival, epitomising the promising and proud talent the underground scene has waiting to burst into the mainstream.
With The Maze Stage providing the day’s stripped down tunes we were pleased to see almost every instrument catered for, in particular our highlight was Chris Reeve and his banjo and harmonica combo. His blend of Nottingham inspired southern folk was a refreshing addition to the East Midlands acoustic scene even with a few technical hitches.
There is a lot of buzz in the Midlands about one young artist in particular - Frankie Rudolf. Frankie has received the backing from music lovers and musical organisations alike; getting pushed from Nottingham’s new music loving natives NUSIC, music mistress Zoe Kirk at This Is Live, BBC hero Dean Jackson at The Beat and the stand-up guys at Shaka Clothing. With such support behind him we were keen to see how Rudolf would deal with the casual Canalhouse crowd, and as always he did not disappoint. Letting his music do the talking Frankie’s shy, yet personable demeanour conquered all and brought a warmth even the sun couldn’t provide to Waterfront’s shores.
Captain Dangerous got the I’m Not From London party started injecting the festival with a healthy dose of foot stomps and smiles. They really do know how to craft musical magic, providing the sort of set that dances through genres as smoothly as their melodies dance across their guitars. If you ever want to know how to open up a stage, then these chaps will gladly show you how it’s done!
Despite what the name might suggest, Union Station Massacre aren’t some sort of teenage deathcore mob, in fact quite the opposite. Their performance, like their songs, are far more mature and complex than one might think. Each musician adds their own scintillating dimension to their fusion of experimental alt rock.
If there’s one band that can woo any festival crowd it’s Maniere Des Bohemiens. Their gypsy jazz is truly inspiring to watch. The musicianship and musicality on display is something seldom seen on the unsigned music scene these days and it is always an utter delight to watch.
Alright The Captain are certainly more than alright! This East Midlands math-rock monster were on fine form, using their powerful musical experiments to metaphorically hit Waterfront square in the face. It seems only fitting that as a band far from ordinary, that they have an extraordinary effect on the festival’s audience, captivating every spectating soul.
August Actually may not have been around for long, but since forming in 2011 this sea-faring four-piece have been making waves on the unsigned circuit. Their ocean themed indie-pop-folk sound makes for a blissful live experience, and is a real testament to the band’s abilities, especially given their musical infancy.
When ska veteran Liam O’Kane steps on stage everyone knows what to expect, yet regardless of how many times you have seen Liam perform, his charm, skill and songs never get old. Dishing out a set filled with old favourites, Jimmy The Squirrel numbers and news tunes, it’s a completely crowd pleasing performance, solidifying old fans and gaining a hell of a lot of new ones aswell.
LiMn are a curious band, with a scientific name, which luckily makes for a superb sonic formula. This three-piece lay waste to the Waterfront crowd with their doomy experimental rock. Providing one of the days heaviest sets, these guys really are at the top of their game, delivering slice after slice of perfect progressive grunge.
After several doses of alt rock the Waterfront crowd were ready for Great Scott to hit the stage and bring the big beats to the festival, which is exactly what they did. Burton’s hip hop three-piece were just what the festival doctor ordered; good vibes, good times and a healthy drop of the old school. There’s no doubt that these gents will be blowing up the festival circuit this summer.
Tim McDonald and his classical entourage worked brilliantly on the evenings line-up. His acoustic folk songs complete with string accompaniment made for a soothing start to the nights events. As the wind whisked his southern melodies across the ears of everyone in the audience, it was clear that music lovers young and old would be making a note of his next performance.
Prae Vita certainly are a unique bunch, which makes for epic listening. Their sound at Waterfront was every bit as hypnotizing and energizing as we had hoped. While their progressive art-rock might struggle in a typical unsigned arena, here at Waterfront with eager crowds awaiting to hear their psychedelic samples, their set goes down a treat.
Evil Jack turned out to be not so evil afterall, in fact his impressive acoustics were if anything enjoyable, engaging and impressive. Kicking his set-off with an instrumental show of music skill then following it up with his own modern twist on the vintage sounds of the folk genre it was clear that Jack is an artist on the rise.
I’m Not From London’s Practical Lovers may be a two-piece, but here at Waterfront their 80’s inspired electro felt like it was being performed by an electric army. With the sort of indie sound that glistens with bigger things, their performance tonight is a clear indication that these guys are well on their way to breaking into the pages of the NME, your TV screen and your MP3 player.
What could be worse than the Worselings? Everything, because by now you may realise that we are typing ironically and actually have nothing, but good things to say about these Nottingham lads! With a set blistering with promise, potential and power we’ll bet good money that this lot don’t stay confined to the underground scene for long.
Noise Republic are proving gig by gig that this really is their time, and if Waterfront is anything to go by the East Midlands music loving masses couldn’t agree more. This four-piece put on one of the best performances we’ve seen all day and prove that the UK’s punk rock sound is in the safest of hands.
Unfortunately our Waterfront Festival 2012 antics came to an end here as our mothers called us home for supper and an early bath. However, you should all be an absolute legend and go check out Boots Booklovers, Widows, Long Dead Signal, Jimmy The Squirrel, The Smears, Baby Godzilla, Hallouminati, JD & The FDC’s, Dick Venom & The Terrortones, The Barnum Meserve, You Slut!, Hot Japanese Girl (RIP), Pilgrim Fathers, Flying Robot Pimp, Will Jeffery, Rob Green, Tray Electric and Wholesome Fish who we sadly missed!
To any artist we’ve forgotten to mention we apologise and we will send you tea and biscuits ASAP.
Giant thank you’s go to Hannah Larham, Will Robinson, Sam Jones, Phil Euerby, all the artists that performed, all the staff at The Canalhouse, all the technicians involved, all the festival go-ers and everyone at Audacious Face, I’m Not From London, The Maze, LeftLion, Castle Rock and of course - you.
See you down at Waterfront Festival 2013!
Festival: Waterfront Festival 2012 If there’s one festival in the UK WAITT Unsigned are always stoked to roll up at it’s Nottingham’s Waterfront Festival. Every year the chaps at Audacious Face, I’m Not From London, The Maze, LeftLion, Castle Rock and The Canalhouse get together to raise money for incredible charities and put on a kickass show in the process. This year those charitable souls were helping out Nottingham Hospit... read more
Festival: Wychwood Festival 2012 In the run up to Wychwood Festival 2012 the weather did not look like it was on the festivals side. Luckily, when it came time for the festival to open its gates for its 8th year, both the sunshine and the fans came flooding in. After cementing ourselves as Cheltenham’s finest woodsmen over in the campsite it was time to go and check out some fresh unsigned talent over on the Pomme Stage. The first act on the bill, was the aptly titled Touch Of The Su... read more
Welcome to WAITT Unsigned the home of the UK's underground music scene. We've been defending the ranks of unsigned, independent and small label artists since way back '08. Over the years we've championed underground music at every turn from an award nominated radio show and local gigs to promotions and artist management.
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